Earlier this morning, Donuts reported that it sold the Home.Loans new gTLD domain name for $500,000. Whenever I read about large deals involving the new gTLD domain names, I know that some people will ask questions about whether or not they are legitimate. Some new gTLD domain registries offer creative deals to ensure the best domain names are developed and supported, so a deal may not be entirely what it seems.
I reached out to Matt Overman, Senior Vice president of Sales at Donuts, to ask him about the deal to confirm there were no marketing gimmicks and it was an all-cash (paid at once) deal. Matt confirmed that “it was an all cash deal paid up front without any marketing kickbacks or anything like that.”
Using the Whois History tool at DomainTools, I noticed that the domain name was first created at the end of August of 2017 and transferred to the buyer in November. Matt confirmed this and told me Donuts and the owner agreed to wait to report the news until after the owner launched his website. Assuming Ron Jackson charts this sale, it will have taken place in 2017. This will be the tenth largest publicly recorded sale of 2017, tying the $500,000 sale of Refi.com (ironically).
In addition to being one of the ten largest public domain name sales of 2017, it is also the largest public new gTLD domain name sale of all time, as recorded by NameBio. Casino.Online sold for $201,250 in 2017 and Video.Games sold for $183,000 in 2017, which rounds out the top 3 public sales of all time.
It is going to be interesting to see how Home.Loans ranks in Google over time. This is the exact match phrase for a highly competitive industry, but most of the biggest competitors have been around for a while and operate on long existing domain names.